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Tallying Up the Mounting Economic Toll of North Carolina's HB2


Tallying Up the Mounting Economic Toll of North Carolina's HB2

Alex Kotch

Since becoming law in late March, North Carolina's House Bill 2 has sparked national controversy and an ongoing boycott of the state over its discriminatory provisions. HB2 requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate and bars local governments from adopting LGBT protections and minimum wage laws.


“I did not realize the consequences of this bill, that it would have worldwide consequences, and they just keep piling up,” Barringer told WRAL.

because, you know, Current Events and History are not allowed in the Republican Echo Chamber, where no one can hear you making sense.


I guess we’ll see if the supporters of HB2 stand on their principles or vote with their wallet! Is the safety of little girls more important than revenue. If the repeal HB2 doesn’t that make child molestation acceptable for money? What would that make them?


The Moral Principle and the Material Interest

A Moral Principle met a Material Interest on a bridge wide enough for but one.

“Down, you base thing!” thundered the Moral Principle, “and let me pass over you!”

The Material Interest merely looked in the other’s eyes without saying anything.

“Ah,” said the Moral Principle, hesitatingly, “let us draw lots to see which shall retire till the other has crossed.”

The Material Interest maintained an unbroken silence and an unwavering stare.

“In order to avoid a conflict,” the Moral Principle resumed, somewhat uneasily, “I shall myself lie down and let you walk over me.”

Then the Material Interest found a tongue, and by a strange coincidence it was its own tongue. “I don’t think you are very good walking,” it said. “I am a little particular about what I have underfoot. Suppose you get off into the water.”

It occurred that way.

— From Ambrose Bierce, Fantastic Fables (1899)


Lovely. Except in this case the moral principle is a phantom.

I’m especially amused by the 3 legislators switching their stances when facing election loss.


i believe that the word ‘moral’ has been co-opted by religion, and carries that religious connotation in modern america. i try to use ‘ethical’ instead, to avoid confusion.

having said that, all ‘moral’ principles are phantoms.


“What would that make them”, you ask?

That’s the question each of their Democratic/Independent challengers need to pose to the NC voters through a coordinated television and print campaign in this election cycle and the next.

Then follow up with the court ruling against NC for voting law changes and gerrymandering done with racial discrimination intent by the republicans.


Perfectly fine to use “ethical,” but there’s no need to surrender morality to religions, and especially to certain religions. NC is also the home of “Moral Mondays,” a movement focused on calling government to ethical behavior. Yes, it started from religious communities, but one of the things it has opposed is HB2 and other rights violations.

HB2 is undeniably unethical as well as immoral.


What’s the difference between a lawyer and a catfish?
One is a scum sucking bottom dweller while the other is just a fish.



I understand that there is a business-oriented group trying to orchestrate a “compromise,” with the City of Charlotte repealing its transgender rights ordinance and then the NC general assembly repealing HB2.

Compromise? Hell No! Let the repubs hang on their stupidity and discrimination. They should repeal HB2 no stings attached.


The money is drying up in North Carolina. How long till North Carolina is a complete failed state?


Not nearly all the money. And “failed state” is generally applied to countries.


I just have to lol… Anyone voting in this state and thinks they can afford more Republican state rule ought to be hospitalized. We usually spend three weeks every other year on Ocracoke Island and we spend a LOT of money there as we take the kids and friends. We rent a very large home, eat out every night, hire a private fishing charter at least four or five full days, buy a lot etc. When I emailed the real estate company after this bill passed and told them we would not be renting this year the broker actually called me. She was nearly in tears saying I wasn’t the only ‘regular’ who was not coming. She said small businesses like her were trying desperately to organize against it but to no avail. I feel terrible but boycott is the only way and to be effective the pain it causes has to be borne…
I wonder how bad things will get before the nuts wise up…


“ban public travel to North Carolina”

WTF?? Banning the public from traveling anywhere is the antitheses of a free people. Perhaps a more thorough explanation of this should have been included.

Regardless, better they should consider BDS of NC.


Should have said “official travel” or “publicly funded travel.” Of course that’s all governors can restrict.


The central question with respect to moral behavior is, “Can I live with myself if I do this.”

The central question with respect to others is, “Can I live together with others if I do this.”

Being able to live with oneself and being able to live with others are very different questions. Both define our identity as human beings.


My Mother’s measure was whether anything we were contemplating doing was something we’d be comfortable telling her about. Still works pretty well. And I know where she’d be standing on HB2. She’d have an #I’llGoWithYou button, her fists on her hips, and she’s clear the path for her grandchild.


Great article, Alex. Thank you!


McCrory, apparently, was paying attention:


In court documents Friday, Gov. Pat McCrory cited “substantial costs to the State” as one reason for dropping his lawsuit…